Souvenir Lessons – Barcelona History

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Sometimes it’s hard to let go of the past.

I’ve always been the type to be stuck in loops of thinking about what I’ve done, wondering what I could’ve done better or differently. It’s extremely difficult to move forward when you’re turned around to look behind you.

So while traveling through Europe, I’m taking lessons from each city I spend time in. As I drive away from Barcelona in a big bus, I’ve decided I want to take this city’s ability to let the past and the present coexist harmoniously.
Our first night in Barcelona, we were walking through the Gothic Quarter. It’s an extremely bizarre experience to be walking past Zara and H&M, then stumble upon a basilica hundreds of years old. It feels as if it should look out of place, but it doesn’t. It sits happily in its square, the rest of the streets organically growing around it without overshadowing or ignoring the church.

La Sagradda Familia, a Gaudi basilica over 100 years in the making, boldly sits in the city with cars beeping past and a McDonald’s across the street. But when you step inside, nature and religion come together in a burst of light and color. 100 years old and under construction, but it still inspires a humbling awe, even when the sanctuary is filled with selfie sticks and iPhones.

In Barcelona the history blends into the present. The city honors the historical landmarks, giving them space to exist while still expanding around them, allowing the city to grow and thrive with the passing of time.

I often focus on the mistakes and wounds of the past. I’ve seen and done so much in my own history. I’ve always categorized these experiences as mental and physical scars, marring the surface of my life.

However, I don’t have to be ashamed or put negative energy into these scars. They can exist and be a part of me, but there is space around them for so much more to exist. These marks are simply proof of a life lived, and I can grow beyond them.

My past is just another chapter in my life. Without those chapters, the novel would be unfinished. Every good hero has a backstory, and these scars are mine.

I could choose to separate my past and present. Or I could let them exist together in peace, giving me even more room to grow as I move forward.

Thank you, Barcelona, for teaching me the importance of coexisting within myself.

Spain, I will be back.

Especially for some sangria.


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